Fairtrade at the University of Glasgow

In 2004 the University gained accreditation from the UK’s Fairtrade Foundation as a Fairtrade University. The Fairtrade Foundation awards a consumer label, the Fairtrade mark, to products which meet internationally recognised standards of Fairtrade.

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. The costs of products that consumers buy start with the producer which runs counter to the way in which retailers normally set prices. Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminate against the poorest, weakest producers in the developing world. Price stability covers their production costs, and a social or community premium means that their organisation will be able to reinvest either in the business or social and environmental schemes among the wider community. It enables workers and their communities to improve the lives of local people and have more control over their lives.

Being Fairtrade is a part of the University’s commitment to sustainability, international development and to offering choice to the people who work, study and visit the University. Fairtrade status creates another opportunity to communicate the University’s values and ethos.

To maintain our Fairtrade accreditation, the University has to demonstrate its commitment to five goals. These are articulated through our Fairtrade policy. 

University of Glasgow Fairtrade policy

In line with its Policy on sustainability the University of Glasgow is committed to supporting, promoting and using Fairtrade goods.

To achieve this the University will maintain Fairtrade status, as defined by the Fairtrade Foundation (www.fairtrade.org.uk), and thus commit itself to the 5 goals as laid down by the Foundation.

  1. Fairtrade foods are available for sale in all campus shops and used in all cafés/restaurants/bars on campus. Where this is not possible, there is a commitment to begin to use Fairtrade foods in these establishments as soon as it becomes possible to do so.
  2. Fairtrade foods (for example, coffee and tea) are served at all meetings hosted by the university and the Student bodies, and in all university and Student Union management offices.
  3. The process of maintaining Fairtrade status is co-ordinated by a Fairtrade Steering Group that includes academics, students and members of the local community. This group will prepare and oversee the implementation of an action plan to maintain Fairtrade status for the University.
  4. The Steering Group will organise the publicity for Fairtrade Fortnight and other promotions of Fairtrade products on an ongoing basis to ensure awareness-raising is maintained on campus.
  5. The Steering Group will send a yearly report on 'Fairtrade in the University' to the Court/Senate and to the Fairtrade Foundation in order to maintain our Fairtrade status.

Your commitment

It is easy to buy Fairtrade products such as tea and coffee for staff rooms, common rooms and other areas in the University. Recognised office suppliers as well as local retailers sell catering sizes of tea and coffee. Other products are also available.

The steering group is convened by Dr Phil Cotton in the Faculty of Medicine. For further details please contact (p.cotton@clinmed.gla.ac.uk).

Alternatively please contact Ms Aileen McInnes, Director of Hospitality Services or Rev Stuart Macquarrie, Chaplain to the University.

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